Modern technology adds to worldwide obesity woes: report
As countries gain information and communication advances, populations pack on pounds, research shows.
(HealthDay)—The increasing amount of time that people spend using computers, playing video games and watching TV is a major factor in rising rates of obesity worldwide, according to a new study.
The researchers at the Milken Institute in California found a direct link between spikes in adoption of new information and communications technology and the dramatic rise in obesity in 27 countries between 1988 and 2009.
The Milken Institute is an independent economic think tank.
"Technological innovations, more processed foods, a greater amount of 'screen time,' less exercise, and higher consumption of snack foods have all played a role," report co-author and economist Anusuya Chatterjee said in an institute news release. "These are all the adverse effects of a knowledge-based society."
More than 500 million adults worldwide are obese, according to background information in the news release. The United States has the highest percentage of obese adults (nearly 34 percent), followed by Mexico (30 percent), New Zealand (about 26 percent), Australia (nearly 25 percent) and Canada (just over 24 percent).
But obesity rates in many developing countries are also rising fast, the researchers noted. For example, the obesity rate in China more than doubled between 2002 and 2008, from 2.5 percent to 5.7 percent.
For their study, the Milken team looked at the effect that knowledge-based technology had on obesity rates in 27 countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation. They did this by comparing the level of investment and communication technology (ICT) for each of the countries and their obesity rates.
For every 10 percent increase in ICT investment as a share of gross capital formation, the obesity rate climbed an average of 1.4 percent, the investigators found.
But the study authors also explained that in countries with high ICT investment rates, a 1 percent increase in the number of physically active people can prevent a 0.2 percent rise in obesity.
Overweight and obesity can lead to chronic diseases and disability, resulting in high human and economic costs for countries, and obesity is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide, the authors of the report pointed out.
"In addition to the human suffering, a key concern is the price tag. In the U.S., the medical burden of obesity climbed to 9.1 percent of annual medical spending in 2006 from 6.5 percent in 1998. Today, it is probably 12 percent and rising," concluded the report, published this month by the Milken Institute.
More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers advice about achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
- Fat stats: 30% of adults in 12 states now obese Aug 13, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Study: US has much higher obesity rate than Canada Mar 02, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Number of fat people in US to grow, report says Sep 23, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Discount supermarkets tied to rising obesity rates Jun 19, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Obesity doubled in British children Apr 21, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Electric field-Charge inside a metallic shell
1 hour ago I am having few doubts while studying electric field which i am putting here Suppose there is a spherical metallic shell with point charge q1 at...
Change in momentum when a body is thrown up and falls back down.
8 hours ago Say, a body of mass 'm' is thrown at a certain angle with the vertical with certain initial velocity 'u'. The initial momentum of this object is mu....
change in speed and wavelength of light while travelling from one med
8 hours ago what is the mechanism by which light changes its speed and wavelength while travelling from one medium to other. I know it is c/n or lamda/n and know...
Calculus of Variation - Classical Mechanics
11 hours ago I'm reading Classical Mechanics (Taylor), and the 6th chapter is a basic introduction to calculus of variations. I'm super confused :confused: ...
Frictional Force Equation Doesn't Make Sense
11 hours ago Frictional Force is mathematically defined as: Ff = μ*m*g*cos(θ) , where μ is the coefficient of friction, m is the mass of the object, g is...
Calculating Steam Pressure in Closed Container
16 hours ago I am trying to calculate the volume of liquid water i need to place in a sealed container in order to obtain 10 psi of steam pressure in that closed...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(Medical Xpress)—Research by the University of Leeds has shown that very young children appear to reject story book characters who are overweight, but not those who are disabled.
Overweight and Obesity May 16, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 2
(HealthDay)—Weight gain in men and women is predicted by two different genetic variations—so-called polymorphisms, according to a new study from the Netherlands.
Overweight and Obesity May 15, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Drinking 500 ml of purified water is not associated with increases in resting energy expenditure (REE), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Congress on Obesity, ...
Overweight and Obesity May 14, 2013 | 2 / 5 (2) | 1
(HealthDay)—Reviews that are funded by industry tend to find the evidence weak for a causal link between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and the increasing prevalence of obesity, while other reviews consider ...
Overweight and Obesity May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
The devastating effect of Alzheimer's disease on bilingual people has been thrown into focus in Canada, where the sudden loss of a second language can leave sufferers feeling like strangers in their own country.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
The hunt for an HIV vaccine has gobbled up $8 billion in the past decade, and the failure of the most recent efficacy trial has delivered yet another setback to 26 years of efforts.
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Regular consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings were being presented at the Digestive Disease ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Patients with treatment-resistant major depression saw dramatic improvement in their illness after treatment with ketamine, an anesthetic, according to the largest ketamine clinical trial to-date led by researchers from the ...
10 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores new methods for managing digestive health through diet and lifestyle.
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
The use of a smartphone application significantly improves patients' preparation for a colonoscopy, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW). The preparation process, which begins days in ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0